Stanford has grabbed the commitment of another big, athletic offensive lineman. Jacksonville product Jesse Burkett, who was originally committed to Vanderbilt, is now pledged to Stanford. His Twitter profile reflects this change.
Burkett, whose 6-foot-4, 290-pound frame is fluid and athletic on film, provides a solid complement to Casey Tucker and Austin Hall, two bruising Arizonans who had already built a solid offensive line foundation in this 2014 recruiting cycle.
"I chose Stanford primarily because of their superior academic standing," Burkett told The Bootleg in a text message. "After my official visit, I just felt like it was the place for me."
The lineman visited The Farm along with 20 other prospects during the program's big official visit weekend earlier in January. He was still committed to Vanderbilt at the time, and he visited the Commodores' campus last weekend.
"Although coach [Derek] Mason and his new staff were great, I could tell that no place could compare to Stanford, so I decided to commit last night when coach [David] Shaw and coach [Mike] Bloomgren were at my house for a home visit."
Coincidentally, since he was still the Cardinal's defensive coordinator back when Burkett was at Stanford in early January, Mason was at both of Burkett's official visits (Nashville and Palo Alto) this month.
Shaw now has 18 verbal scholarship pledges in this recruiting class. Defensive end Solomon Thomas and cornerback Terrence Alexander will announce their college decisions on National Signing Day, which will come on February 5. In a tweet that's embedded below, Stanford indicated that it sent 20 National Letter of Intent agreements (count the Fed Ex envelopes) to prospects. Commitments from Alexander and Thomas, of course, would make sure that no paper is wasted in this process.
It also appears that preferred walk-on candidates have a good chance to contribute at Stanford. Kicker Hayden Lekacz committed several months ago, and he's currently awaiting a decision from the university's admissions office. Outside linebacker prospect Louis Vecchio, who's seriously considering the Cardinal, hopes to decide between Stanford, Boise State, and potentially California by the end of the week.
Here's The Bootleg's 2014 Stanford Recruiting TV Show. To supplement Burkett's commitment, the below episode focuses on the offensive linemen in the Cardinal's class.
David Lombardi is the Stanford Insider for The Bootleg. Check him out at www.davidlombardisports.com and follow him on Twitter @DavidMLombardi.
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